Gospel in Summary
3Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Answering a Personal Attack
10For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
(1:1) The clauses immediately following the word apostle are far too important to be enclosed by parentheses. The source of his apostleship is one of the main themes of the book.
neither from men nor through men] Neither a human source nor a human agency; the difference between the two prepositions is striking: apo (from or origin), dia (through or means).
(1: 2) Usually there is some expression of gratitude or praise, but the language here is abrupt, almost impersonal as if writer and reader knew each other slightly. The air is charged with emotion.
(1: 4) this present evil age] Evil is emphatic in the sentence. Lightfoot renders the phrase as this world “with all its evil.”
(1: 5) The verb is omitted here, but this is a common in a doxology.
(1: 6) so quickly] The adverb can refer to either time (soon) or manner (quickly), but here manner seems to be the thought. The Galatians had so easily changed. Compare a similar construction: “Lay hands suddenly (quickly) on no man ”
are turned] lit. desert, defect. The verb is present tense, middle voice, the present tense denoting an on-going process. (Even though the Galatians had yet to completely turn away, there is no question as to the direction they were going.) The middle voice further emphasizes their personal role in the matter. Others may have misled the Galatians, but the Galatians had allowed themselves to be turned away. The Galatians had made the choice on their own.
another gospel] Not just another gospel (alios) but a different kind of gospel (heteros). The difference in the two adjectives is very important. There is no other gospel.
(1: 7) which is not another except] A difficult sentence construction, but the ASV footnote is helpful: “which is nothing else save that. . . ” The gospel of the Judaizers was a gospel only in the sense it was a perverted gospel.
(1: 8-9) Both sentences are conditional but with an important difference. The first sentences is purely hypothetical (eon with subjunctive). No angel had come from heaven to preach another gospel. and no apostle had changed the gospel. The second sentence, however, is one of distinct possibility (ei with indicative). Not only was it possible that others could preach a distorted gospel, but this was actually being done. And the Galatians were actually open to such distortions.
accursed] lit. anathema, under the curse of God, devoted to destruction, like the ban pronounced on Jericho: “the city shall be devoted … only Rahab the harlot shall live, and all that are with her in the house” (Josh 6: 17). No one escaped the curse on Jericho, and no one will escape this curse.
as we said before] Perfect tense with emphasis on the continuing result of a past action. The Galatians had been forewarned. Both Paul and others, while with them, had told them about such things. And that warning was still in effect. This made the whole affair even more incredible since they could have and should have know.
Abrupt opening words,
Answering a personal attack,
Questions for Further Study
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